MANILA, Philippines --- The Department of Education has scheduled nationwide tests to determine the readiness of elementary and high school students to go the next level of education and to determine the proficiency of teachers in English, Science and Mathematics.
The National Education and Testing Research Center (NETRC) will administer the National Achievement Tests (NAT) nationwide in public and private schools in March. The NAT for fourth year high school students will be held on March 6, for Grade 3 students in public and Madrasah schools on March 12, and for Grade VI pupils on March 13, the DepEd said.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro said that along with the NAT, the Test of English Proficiency for Teachers (TEPT) and Process Skills Test (PST) in Science and Mathematics will also be held.
Luistro said that the NAT for Grade 6 students will determine their ''Certificate of Rating'' per subject area which will ''reflect the examinee's readiness for high school.''
''Only private elementary and secondary schools with permit to operate from DepEd shall be included in the conduct of the test,'' he said.
The mandatory inclusion of COR in the NAT was ordered by Luistro last year ''to provide the school with the sufficient entry data of each learner particularly on strengths and weaknesses in terms of competencies and to determine his or her readiness to tackle high school academic works.''
Luistro said that the NETRC will conduct a National Conference on the Standardized Administration of the NAT; PEPT; and PST for the ''purposes of updating information and resolving issues/concerns on testing.''
The topics to be discussed in the conference will include proper conduct/ administration of the test; standard procedure in test administration; security of test materials, delivery and retrieval scheme; allocation of test materials; information derived from the individual COR; utilization/dissemination of findings/implications of test results and financial matters relative to test administration.
Luistro said conference will be participated by Regional Testing Coordinators (RTC); Distrcit Testing Coordinators (DTS) and Private School Supervisors (PSS).
For the TEPT-PST, Luistro said that the DTCs are required to bring the actual number of Grade 3 and Grade 4 public school teachers with permanent positions in their respective regions.
The TEPT-PST will be administered by cluster starting on February 3 and then on all Sundays of March, April and May 2013. The NETRC will provide the clustering of regions and will be announced through an Advisory.
The DTC will serve as the chief examiner while the education supervisors and elementary school principals as room examiners. The teachers will be given one day service credit for their participation.
Last school year, Luistro ordered changes in the conduct of NAT in preparation for future enhancement of the basic education curriculum. Unlike in the previous year, NAT will be taken by fourth year high school students both in public and private schools instead of second year high school students.
Luistro said that the changes in the examinations aim to give DepEd ''feedback on the students' knowledge gain after the ten-year basic education cycle and the result will also be used as input for the K to 12 program.''
The NAT is usually given towards the end of each school year to gauge the academic performance in key subjects of elementary and secondary students in both public and private schools.
To ensure the smooth conduct of NAT and avoid alleged cases of cheating, Luistro urged local education stakeholders such as the local government units, civic groups and non-government organizations to be part of the NAT monitoring group.